Photo: Stratasys

The attempts to 3D print human tissue, bone, skin and organs is continuing, so the role of 3D printing in medicine is also increasing. In the next few years a visit to the dentist may look differently. The 3D printing technology is rapidly breaking into our everyday life and even in dentistry.
Researchers at the University of Groningen is now trying to make a perfect 3d printed tooth, which kills bacterias that cause a tooth decay.The idea of having 3d printed teeth may sound odd, but, all in all, maybe, it’s better than frequent visits to a dentist and dental treatment? Moreover, 3d printed teeth wouldn’t change colour in time and stay as new for a long.

The most important issue for Dutch researchers was developing the right material for 3d printing this kind of teeth. They created  a special mix for a 3d printer: existing dental resin polymers was embedded with antimicrobial quaternary ammonium salts inside. The bacterial-fighting tooth was tested in a laboratory, where it was coated with human saliva and  Streptococcus mutans, tooth decay causing bacterium. The experiment showed that anti-bacterial tooth is unharmful for cells and it also killed more than 99% of all bacteria.

However, this tooth innovation is still not ready for testing inside a human mouth. The researchers don’t know yet  how 3d printed tooth will react on toothpaste, chewing and brushing.
Nevertheless, Andreas Herrmann from the University of Groningen sure  that application of this innovation in medicine will be possible in nearest future. We'll wait!